China launched a brand new high-decision remote sensing satellite capable of offering stereoscopic imagery on Sunday, state-run media stated, marking another vital step as Beijing seeks to cut reliance on foreign expertise in topographic mapping.
A rocket took off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Facility in northern China at 11:22 a.m. local time, carrying the Gaofen-7 high-resolution satellite into its assigned orbit, the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) stated, citing China National Space Administration (CNSA).
Gaofen-7, a sub-meter resolution optical satellite, claims the highest mapping accuracy among its domestic peers and is ready to map China and even the world’s lands stereoscopically with a margin of error of less than a meter, per CCTV.
The satellite, which will be used for land surveys, urban planning, and statistical research, will help end China’s reliance on imports in high-resolution stereo mapping.
The aim of China’s satellite remote sensing mission – the Gaofen series – is to assist in building an all-weather, 24-hour, global Earth distant sensing system by 2020 capable of monitoring the ground, ambiance, and oceans, per CNSA.
The Gaofen mission, one of the 16 major initiatives that are vital to the country’s scientific development, is also aimed at comprehensively advancing China’s self-reliance in accessing high-resolution earth observation data.